It’s been an interesting year for radio on a wide and personal level.
Pushing the personal part to one side, 2016 has been positive
in terms of radio as listened to.
There’s been so many good interviews, one that springs to mind at
the time of writing (due to being broadcast just this month) was a rare
opportunity for Jamie Cullum, getting to interview Billy Joel.
Jamie Meets The Piano Man BBC Radio 2/Folded Wing, December
With such a lengthy career, even without an album since 1993,
there was a lot to cover, but it did it brilliantly, revealing the story
behind “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” how Frankie Valli inspired
“Uptown Girl“, and a delve into the musician’s classical and jazz influences.
Another interview, and interesting on a personal level was a
long-distance reunion overseen by Stephanie Hirst, of
former Radio 1 controller Johnny Beerling and Jonathan Wolfert
of JAM Creative Productions who for 21 years provided the jingles
for BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2.
Whilst an informative and entertaining piece, the ending was rather sad.
Not necessarily because of the circumstances from the changes at the BBC
in the mid-90s, but an air within the pair of resistance to the fact
that radio has changed since their 70s and 80s heyday, though not in the way
one would desire.
It has to, especially with the departures of many radio veterans
this year including Dave Cash, Ed Stewart, and the great Sir Terry Wogan,
of whom BBC Radio 2 embraced by renaming their studios in his honour,
and broadcasting an array of well-crafted tribute programmes.
Just a shame that Wogan’s memorial service was spoilt by Tony Blackburn,
displaying his sense of entitlement on Twitter midway through the service.
Granted, it was rotten how he was treated at the BBC, but Pick Of The Pops has
frankly become a much easier listen since, with Mark Goodier and later Gambo,
bringing back credibility to the show as opposed to corniness.
Also worth mentioning this remarkable, and no-holds-barred interview
with Paul Gambaccini from Trevor Dann’s Radio Today programme
in June this year.
The audio speaks for itself.
Other podcasts continuing to impress in ’16 included David Lloyd’s
beautifully made “Conversations”, Craig Bruce’s
“Game Changers” taking his series to the UK, and Scroobius Pip’s
“Distraction Pieces”, not just for getting great guests, but livening
up many a long journey with the off-the-cuff “DrunkCasts”.
A personal highlight this year was spending 8 weeks at the company who
produced Terry Wogan during his last few years on air.
I was lucky enough to be chosen by Wise Buddah’s IMGR as
the first incumbent of the “Future IMGR” internship.
It was a great opportunity to further learn the ropes of audio imaging,
and although it’s been an area of radio I have had great interest in,
there’s a lot of new things to be learnt which I have taken from it.
But whilst the IMGR placement proved rewarding, ongoing thoughts of anxiety
got in the way of me being able to develop ideas and audio to a higher standard,
than I was capable of and fair play to Chris Nicoll and the team for
being really understanding.
I managed to gloss over it through their rather naughty sense of humour,
but we all understood that maybe the high-pressure nature of producing
a vast amount of audio and coming up with ideas within a single week
may be too much for me in the long run.
When talking to my mum and dad, asking why other people in radio are able
to undergo such challenges regularly and pro-actively I got told
“they don’t have the same problems you have” and that may all be down to it.
That’s the key thing, being able to accept that things may not happen
in they way you’ve planned or hoped for, and move on from them,
as opposed to being bitter about them for the rest of your life.
That said, other positive audio events and projects have come about
post IMGR and I have made one or two brave decisions as a result
that are bound to unravel in the long run.
There will be something, it may not be big, it may not even earn any money,
but if the overall enjoyment is involved somewhere, then the coming months
will result in many fun audio adventures.